Our world is vast. Today the planet earth is home to so many varieties of soil, vegetation and animal species that it is hard to believe… that little by little mankind, with its irresponsible activities and habits, is destroying it all.
To address this situation, various professional groups, researchers and other experts developed the concept of “Conservation Hotspots”. As applied in geology, “hotspots” are areas of particular interest. In the field of environmental conservation, this interest derives from the immense amount of biodiversity that these hotspots harbour.
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THE FIRST MAJOR GLOBAL ESTIMATE
We owe the concept of “conservation hotspots” to professional research work led by IRNAS-CSIC, better known as the Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiología del Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Institute of Natural Resources and Agrobiology of the Spanish National Research Council pornos).
To carry out the study, it was necessary to analyse just over 10,000 observational exercises of continuous biodiversity in a wide variety of animal and plant ecosystems, as well as approximately 615 different soil types.
For their assessment, the scientists used the following criteria:
- The richness of each living animal or plant.
- The uniqueness of each of them.
- The interaction with ecosystems.
The study revealed, among other things, a very interesting key fact: each type of soil, due to its particular characteristics, offers a greater conservation ecosystem to different animal or plant species. For example:
- Temperate ecosystems have a lot of areal biodiversity.
- Arid and tropical ecosystems harbour greater soil biodiversity.
This is why determining general guidelines for the conservation of these areas is so challenging.
WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION HOTSPOTS?
With this main constraint in mind, and by contrasting the study with reality, it was concluded that the “conservation hotspots” are not receiving the level of care they require globally to ensure the survival of biodiversity.
READ MORE: ‘THE CHALLENGE: IDENTIFYING EXISTING BIODIVERSITY, UNDERSTANDING HOW IT IS CHANGING AND WHY”
The experts point out that, when delimiting “conservation areas” or natural spaces protected by the State, not all of the variables mentioned above are being taken into account, making the guidelines for selecting and establishing conservation norms not adapted to real needs.
Manuel Delgado, leader of the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning Laboratory at IRNAS-CSIC, affirms that the State has not been very interested in these differentiations either, delimiting spaces and measures that protect animal and plant diversity, without taking into account the soil itself and all its variants.
This is largely due to the current widespread ignorance we have of soil as such and its impact on ecosystems, despite the fact that we practically eat, breathe and exist indirectly thanks to them.
Ana Rey, a leading scientist on the team, also points to the need to be able to preserve soils by making the proper delimitation by type, understanding that each plays a fundamental role in human survival. After all, most soils are exposed not only to natural factors. But also to climate change and human intervention.
What do you think about this issue, and do you think that governments have not made the necessary effort to ensure the conservation of our planet’s biodiversity?